[T]o me, it's the key to this organization that from the very outset there was a choice made to make it inclusive, not an exclusive organization…And you know, John [Egerton] is the person who said years ago that the defining thing about Southern food...is that it doesn't say you must learn to do this and you may never do it as well as I do. It says everyone is welcome at the table.
Born in Corbin, Kentucky, Ronni Lundy has long chronicled the people of the hillbilly diaspora as a journalist and cookbook author. Her books include Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken: The Heart and Soul of Southern Country Kitchens and Butter Beans to Blackberries: Recipes from a Southern Garden. She is the former restaurant reviewer and music critic for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, former editor of Louisville Magazine, and has contributed to many national magazines. Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken was recognized by Gourmet magazine as one of six essential books on Southern cooking.
In 2005, Lundy served the Southern Foodways Alliance as editor of Cornbread Nation 3: Foods of the Mountain South. There she makes a passionate case for mountain ways and mountain people: “[L]ooking through the lens of real Southern mountain food—the methods of its growing, processing and eating—we began to see a vivid picture of a region and its people that had little in common with their most prevalent and demeaning stereotypes.”
In 2009, Lundy received the SFA’s Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award.
Date of interview: October 11, 2004Interviewer: April Grayson, Friend of the SFA